AUSTIN – Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has won a second term after an uneventful race against Democratic challenger Lupe Valdez.
Abbott's re-election was seldom in doubt. Republicans have won every governor's race in Texas since 1994, starting with George W. Bush and continuing with Rick Perry and now Abbott.
Valdez is a former sheriff in Dallas who would have been Texas' first openly gay, Hispanic governor. But she struggled to raise money and support, and her race was overshadowed in Texas by Democrat Beto O'Rourke's high-profile run for Senate.
The 60-year-old Abbott is the nation's only governor who uses a wheelchair. He was paralyzed from the waist down after a tree fell on him as a young law student.
Valdez congratulated Abbott when she conceded Tuesday night, saying in part: "So, tonight, I congratulate and concede to my opponent, Greg Abbott, and thank him for an aggressive, and passionate, but sensible, fight."
Just after 9 p.m. Tuesday, Abbott addressed hundreds of supporters who had gathered to congratulate him on his second term.
He said the campaigns divided the state with people gathering under a blue or a red banner. He said it was now time for all Texans to unite under one banner -- the banner of the flag of Texas.
“As Texans, the bonds that we share transcend our differences. Listen, we all want safer communities. More jobs. Better schools. And we all want to give our children lives worthy of their promise. These priorities are bigger than any political party because first and foremost, we are Texans," Abbott said.
Abbott thanked his family and his supporters. But he said the victory Tuesday night belonged to the grassroots workers in his campaign.